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Eau Claire, WI (KROC-AM News) - The increase in COVID-19 activity that is being reported in Wisconsin has prompted the Mayo Clinic Health System to reinstate a no visitor policy for its facilities in Northwest Wisconsin.

The restrictions cover all inpatient and outpatient facilities, including the Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital in Eau Claire and clinics throughout that region. The policy went into effect yesterday morning and will remain in force until further notice.

"We continue to see a rise in the number of patients with COVID-19, as well as increasing community spread of the virus in Northwest Wisconsin," says Jason Craig, regional chair of administration, Northwest Wisconsin Region, Mayo Clinic Health System. "We understand these restrictions will be difficult for patients and their loved ones. We are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and our staff. We encourage family members to consider other ways to connect with their loved ones, such as via phones or other devices."

The no visitor policy allows one visitor in cases involving pediatric care, end-of-life patients, and the birth of a child. The restrictions match those implemented by the Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Health System during the initial peak of the pandemic in the spring that were later loosened as COVID-19 activity declined during the summer.

The latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health indicates COVID-19 activity in the northwestern parts of that state is rated as high to very high.

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